Monday, June 10, 2013

It was the very ORTHODOXY of their economic theories that doomed Hitler,Tojo and Mussolini

Devotedly orthodox economist Robert Solow won the 1987 Nobel Prize basically for just one very famous 1974 quote, taken a bit out of context:

"If it is very easy to substitute other things for natural resources, then there is, in principle, no problem. The world, in effect, can get along without natural resources."

But since he was born in 1924 and was only nine when Hitler came to power, he can hardly be blamed for acting as Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo's unofficial economic advisor.

However, someone had to do that job and so it was done by virtually all of the 1930s' economists, almost all orthodox to the man or woman.

In the 1930s, as in the 1830s and the 2030s, their theories basically claimed the same thing as Solow's quote, albeit in less frank language.

But you protest that Hitler, Tojo and Musso went to war precisely to obtain the natural resources they didn't have at home.

So surely my claim looks highly incredible on the face of it: they obviously took natural resources very seriously indeed.

But remember that these three planned to steal all those natural resources they didn't have, and steal them away from heavily armed neighbours who didn't want to give them up without a big fight.

Relatively 'natural-resource-less' at the moment their military machine planned to do all the stealing, the three still felt confident they could substitute something else for those missing natural resources like copper, oil and rubber : sheer aggressive military willpower.

Their failure to substitute patriotic energy for petroleum energy should be a lesson to even the dimmest of economic light bulbs, but no.

Acting as if it is still mentally wowing the crowds in some stadium in Nuremberg,  orthodox economics still daily  proclaims 'the triumph of the human will' over mere material limitations.

So who exactly started the bloodbath of WWII ?

May I suggest you look no further than your local university economics department .

Pity then their ilk never faced a war crimes trial , instead of just their most earnest lay students at the top of Japan, Italy and Germany .....

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